(but also hope, rebirth, love, compassion, care, humanity, facing adversity, triumphs, worthiness, positivity and recovery)
your shoulders are weary.
your vision is lost.
you struggle to gasp for breath,
to pull in the air,
to let it out again.
you long for death.
but you cannot make it occur.
you’ve chosen a different path,
and still the pain bleeds blue,
and you feel you wish you could
surrender to it.
I see you.
I hear you.
I know your pain,
as it’s become mine.
I want you to know:
you’ll get through this.
there will be hope again.
this isn’t how your story ends.
there is more strength within you
than you realize.
the waves will leave and they will come again,
but they will always leave,
they will always fade,
so where you struggle,
you will find courage
and with that courage
you can find aid,
because no one was ever meant to
deal with this life alone.
so I will search for you,
I will search for you in the light of day
and in the darkest caverns of the night.
I’ll exclaim your name
because I know it to be
and I will find you,
I will find you,
and bring you back into the beacon
of the light that I know you will
I will hold you,
and remind you of all the reasons
you have to stay alive.
because you’re needed here,
and we want you here,
we want you.
you are loved.
you are strong.
you are a warrior.
you are a survivor.
you are worthy.
you deserve to take up space.
you deserve a happy and healthy life.
you are amazing.
you are brave.
you are wondrous.
you are you
and no one can ever replace you.
please don’t try and replace yourself.
I see your shadow in the darkness,
the outline of grey that hangs in the air,
and I’m coming for you now.
I’m coming like the waves,
and when I find you,
I will secure you with the firelight
and you can sit back and hear the sparks
crinkle into the atmosphere around us
and you can find something in it,
that allows you to breathe an easier breath,
for your heart to beat another tune,
and for the world of pain to ebb away slowly,
finding yourself again
exactly where you thought you lost yourself.
you will be whole.
you will fall into acceptance.
and you will fight for a brighter day ahead.
because they come.
and we need you here
more than the heavens above require you.
fight hard and fight loud.
we are here.
I am you.
and I want us to see another sunrise.
in the fading billows of the smoke,
in the joyous taste of a s’mores,
into the day ahead,
continuing over and over.
because we need to.
because the world is better
with us still in it.
and when you struggle to see the light,
I will hold it out for you.
and one day you’ll find,
that you can hold it out
for the next person you try
kindness and humanity
falling out of your palms
as you climb the highest hill
and call out their name.
because it’s you again,
in a different vessel,
and you’re as determined as I was
to find them,
to encourage them,
and to show them the world,
because they deserve to see it, too.
and on and on the story will pass,
endlessly into the dawn ahead,
and when the moonlight and the starlight
come out to shine,
someone else out there will find guidance in them,
peace in them
and be able to smile satisfactorily and feel
their soul beat with the crowd of souls that linger
by their side,
warming the air around them,
reminding them that
are never alone.
Technical aspects of the poem:
No mood music specified.
About the poem: So it looks like I wrote this poem the following day from my Goodbye Athena blog post. I was still dealing with the ramifications of that post into that day and I found out that late Thursday evening that I started Mother Redbird’s appearance (which would make more sense why I was so emotional). So I was still feeling the effects from it and needed to vent and had a harrowing day. I did it in the hopes that I could write or edit some fanfic afterward. It captured my mood pretty well, I think, I found myself hanging on every word just now rereading it, and it is a hopeful poem even if it starts off dark and depressing. Such is life at times, huh? I think it’s a pretty worthwhile poem altogether speaking. I believe this preceded an email I sent to a friend called “Struggle Lane” and in between me working on a new fanfic chapter update.
If you are struggling with your mental health or suicidal ideation and you live in the USA you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline either by phone (1800 273 8255) or through their chat service. I used the chat service this day which I felt the person I spoke to didn’t understand either the OCD I live with or the situation of me writing about Athena however it DID allow me time to talk with my Mom and initiate help-seeking behavior in THAT way. So, it’s still worth a shot!!
So yeah, that’s what’s behind this post at least. I hope that you are having a nice day and I’ll be updating this blog with a few new posts in the coming week.
Hi again, welcome back to another posted poetry blog post. If you want to check out last week’s post, here it is! Thanks so much and I’ll see you at the end of this post, which, will be very soon. xxx Happy travels!!
each post begins with the thumb above
each poem will be individually titled and labeled by the entry number in both the piece itself (at the end) and in the title
each post will include any background music used to “set the mood” which will be listed at the end of the entry
each poem loosely exists within the context of summer but is not strictly limited in constructing that imagery. I.e. it’s a summer project but may venture outside of that topic/theme-wise. 🙂
the goal: one poem each week from the end of May to the start of September under the hashtag: #SummerComer
FYI: Last week’s post’s spacing got completely messed up, so I hope to avoid that into the future. Just wanted to point that out. Maybe I’ll try and edit to fix it but I’m not sure.
and when she wanders
to the cave within her soul,
she takes a deep breath,
and gently rocks to sleep.
Technical aspects of the poem:
Mood Music: Ambient sounds on Calm App/No music used.
About the poem: This poem was does really fast for me by just taking out a couple of minutes out of my day to jot it down actually on some pink, floral stationary paper. It was heavily influenced by a nonfiction book on sleep that I completely consumed this day ahaha (review to come soon). The book has inspired me across multiple mediums (writing, reading, filming) and I can’t wait to share it with you guys somewhat soon!! (next two weeks or so)
this isn’t easy, I don’t know how and what to feel. Keeping busy: it does the job but it doesn’t heal.
It’s getting harder to feel. And they all say: “You need to take care of yourself, my darling.” but they don’t know how it feels to be broken. I can’t help it, I feel numb. I’ll wait for the waves to leave and come. I think I’m breaking… I’m a mess in the making.
I’m getting tired of the same old feeling in my chest. I’m not a liar, but I’ve got secrets I can’t confess.
Don’t say you love me: ’cause I don’t understand those words.
And they all say: “You need to take care of your health, my darling.”
I’m holding on a tightrope and know I’m not coming home. Hurting, searching–you know I’m not coming home.”
….but also dear any other eating disorder or mental health condition survivor Reader out there:
Hi. You don’t know me. You maybe never would. We interacted a couple of times online but I was a fan for a while. I started following your story and your YouNow’s and your Youtube videos back in 2017 when there was one of the first large pickups of your story and the speculation that you were living with an eating disorder. I even made a blog post here about you and what you might have been going through.
Over time I watched more and more of your videos. Just as every other person in the world was, I was slowly watching you kill yourself. Anorexia, eating disorders in general, are those slow, gradual killers–sometimes. I saw you waste away video by video. I cared about you deeply. …I still do.
And then there was that all time low in the beginning of 2019, where Jaclyn Glenn and her friends forced you into treatment for your disorder(s) because you were, you are, a danger to yourself. Your own hand, or maybe even multiple hands behind all the screens, smoke and mirrors, are your ultimate demise.
So you went away for a while. A month in treatment and 4-5 months off the Internet.
You returned with an improvement in your physical health in about May or so 2019, helped along by Shane Dawson’s documentary on you and your story. You didn’t get into specifics, you did admit to an eating disorder, but you didn’t want to label it yet. You said you were better. You said things were getting to be okay.
And we believed you. We always saw the best in you, we saw you for your amazing kindness, compassion, positivity and endless amounts of potential.
It seemed to help for a while. It seemed like things were looking up for you, finally.
And then, then time passed. And you started to have similar behaviors visible to the human eye: placing your fingers around your wrists in a body-checking maneuver, standing up for long periods of time, watching yourself in the image of your camera rather than in the lens, wearing more revealing clothing, streaming on Twitch for 6-8 hours at a time with no breaks, no bathroom runs, no eating and no drinking.
And as it went on like this most people were still saying praise and supportive (enabling) comments. On videos, in streams, everywhere. Except the place you sometimes lurk on, sometimes read about yourself on and definitely a place of honesty and reality that I’ve found myself on many, many times now: Reddit.
People there were more honest, more bold, more informative, more witnessing and putting out their thoughts, their feelings and their fears about the winding road you, Athena, were traveling down towards.
And as the days rolled on, the less and less life shone in your smiles, in your green eyes, in the way you carried yourself. The less Recovery Athena existed the more the hope faded from us passerby’s witnessing you slowly fade away.
And I’m so…annoyed. I wanted you to do better. I wanted you to be more. I wanted you to live.
but you didn’t.
And I have to accept the hard reality that if you stay in the environment that made you sick, if you continue with these eating disorder behaviors, if you continue to restrict or purge or all of the above, if you continue like this, Athena:
you are going to die.
you ARE already dying.
Your skin is so pale but not just from lack of light but because it’s tinged with grey. Your hands and your legs are red, sometimes at the knuckles, sometimes just the back of your hands. You’ve had rings of red around your mouth. Your chest has been red before, too. You stutter more, and maybe that’s nerves, maybe that’s from the weight of the world that you’re holding trying to present yourself as “so much better now” and “fully recovered” and “I really am okay and everything; that was a long time ago and stuff”. But you’re not. You’re not, Athena. You are struggling. You are dying. And you’re doing it in front of the entire planet. You’re doing it for reasons we’ll probably never know, not, not unless some health scare happens and you’re able to get out of your household and away from the people who are so likely hurting you–because it’s NOT normal for a mother or a father or a family to watch you waste away hour by hour and not do a THING to stop it. That’s not love. At worst it’s abuse, at least it’s neglect.
And if anything does happen to you, if you lose your fight in this that I so very much wish would never have to happen, then I hope proper justice is brought to your case. I hope that the millions of people you’ve influenced will see that you were NOT immune to the disastrous and tragic consequences of an eating disorder so severe, so crippling, that you were lying about your recovery and your journey and wanting to be better, that you were struggling and in pain and unhealthy and DYING–I hope they see that this is a real and serious disorder and issue, and I hope that if nothing else, it destroys the illusion you’ve been painting for years that “everything is fine” and you’re “really okay and everything” and that eating disorders, mental health conditions, kill. And they will kill. Anorexia is the number one leading condition that kills its participants. And you will be one too if you don’t change your behaviors, your thoughts, your emotions, your actions.
And maybe as unfortunate and not worthy of a trade it is, maybe the laws and legislation in the United States will decide another life lost–one so public, so out there in the world, so resonating and so deliberate–was enough to finally change how eating disorders are treated; how wellness checks are necessary, how to not have the law and the people in power see someone so ill and believe whatever bullshit falls from themselves because of the fact that eating disorders just aren’t seen as the real and dangerous disorders they are–they’re not seen as IMMINENT danger to the self or others and so they’re allowed, time and time again, to slip through the cracks and failed over and over again by a system that refuses to change its citizens and make their lives whole again. Something has to change in these cases, these lives, something has to be DONE on the matter, like in other countries, in other places, in other situations. There HAS to be something. There has to be.
I don’t know how many people we have to lose in life before the world takes it seriously. Before the state does. The family. The country. The psychiatric system. The educational system. The healthcare system.
I hope that when you go on to the next life, Athena, that you will find peace. And that we’ll remember you. God, I’m crying. I hope that people will remember you for how kind you were. How much life you had in you. How compassionate you were. I hope they remember you for everything that you could have been. That you had so much potential to make a positive impact in the world, and in some ways you did, and in many others you didn’t. People see you as an inspiration–whether that’s from when you started a recovery process (for healthy reasons) or because of how frail and damaged your body allowed you to become (unhealthy). You impacted so many people, whether you realize it or not. And you had a responsibility to teach others, a platform you could have used to teach others, about the dangers of these disorders, about the REALITY of these disorders, but most of all you had a responsibility for YOURSELF.
To get better. To become well. To be happy. To be YOU.
You had this responsibility and it never clicked in your head. You kept up all the old body-checks you’d done in videos and photos, you kept up controversial videos, you apologized for everything that didn’t matter and nothing at all for everything that did, you let yourself go when the world just wanted to hold you close. You denied your influence on others and turned a blind eye to predators and lurkers who meant you harm and who meant others harm.
But at the end of the day, you never took on that accountability. At the end of the day, you went on, down the shadowy path. You didn’t want help. You got comfortable in your disorder and you didn’t want to change. We can’t save everyone. And sometimes, sometimes people don’t want to be saved. And you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.
So all of this is to say, all of these tears and words and ideas, all of it is to say that I have to say goodbye now.
I know how this story ends. That if you don’t get help, that if you don’t enter into recovery, that you die. And I… I can’t be waiting for that to happen anymore. I have to walk away. I have to get out all my thoughts and just never look back. And it won’t mean that I’ll never think of you again. Far from it, hun. But I can’t do this. I can’t consume your content when it fills the void of my hunger pains. I can’t keep seeing you shrink and shrink away and for my mind to play its own tricks on me. I can’t go on Reddit for hours to see how you’ve gotten worse, to see the comparisons, to read the truths there, to see what new way you’re using to distract yourself (usually makeup) from the reality of your situation, the way the mods in your streams try to protect you in the name of “care” but is really just veiled attempts at getting your attention and winning over your praise in the same breath that you struggle to take. I can’t do it anymore.
I’m walking away. So even when it kills me inside that I won’t know what you’re doing, HOW you’re really doing (did anyone ever anyways?), if you’re getting better, if you’re getting worse, that I won’t see you until I hear the news of your death and wonder why and how and everything… I still will stay away. Because I have to. I have to protect myself because I can’t protect you, only you can.
I won’t be checking in on you anymore. I’m not going to click on any Youtube videos about you (maybe save for Jaclynn here and there), certainly not any you make and minimize any about you, I’m not going to go to Reddit until I hear that awful, awful news one day, I’m not going to look at comments or tweets from you (I’ve muted, blocked and everything). And I’m not going to write another blog post, not, not until we hear the news. Because I’ll probably have to process then and this has helped already to process it.
If I want to read about anorexia and the dangers of it, I’ll do so by finding some blogs, some other advocates, hell even Jessie Paege or books on the matter. I’ll finish my own story about it (by that I mean a fictional fanfic) and I’ll move forwards.
With or without you, Athena, I will move forwards. Because that’s all we can ever really do.
So, I’m gonna wipe away my tears and set this into motion.
You’ll never see this, Athena but I really do wish you the best. I wish you could be whole again. I wish your life mattered as much to you as it does to so, so, so many people out there. I’m not sure if it would be a curse or a blessing for you to one day realize how severe your condition is and the legacy that you’ve tarnished and left behind because of some bullshit in your brain that you weren’t able to overcome for some reason that we’ll never ever truly know.
I wish you were stronger. I wish you had more time. I wish we could have seen you grow and evolve and become more than everything else. I wish you didn’t have to suffer. I don’t know why some people do more than others, but I’ll have to believe in the Universe and know that it works in mysterious and often unfair ways.
Most of all, I’m going to remember you like this:
I’ll remember you smiling. I’ll remember your killer makeup looks. I’ll remember those green eyes and long hair. That hopefulness and life there within you. The idea, the promise, that things were really getting better. I’ll remember you like this. Because I can’t remember you like how you are now. I’m so sorry, Athena. I wish this wasn’t how you left.
This post got a lot more emotional than I could have ever imagined. If you are struggling with an eating disorder or some other mental heath condition: know that you are NEVER alone, that you CAN get through this, that there is HOPE and HELP available and that you’re so strong, you’re so amazing and you DESERVE to be here and take up space. I wish you all the best. xxx
“There’s strength and a certain amount of courage to write so publicly about your life, to share the journey is a blessing and a beacon for others who may be struggling, because it says, ‘hey, I’ve been where you are and you can get to this stable place, too.’ And that, above all, is what really matters.” — “My Hopes for My Legacy” by Me back in 2018 (article)
Resources: NEDA , National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) , Healthy Place . thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts on this matter or about Athena or want to encourage her or share your story, please feel free to do so down below. if not, that's okay too. i believe in you and i always will. i want the best for her, i do, it's just hard. it's just hard. thank you for stopping by. sending you light, love and hugs. xxx <3 <3 <3
Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!